2017-06-22 training log

Some days you’re happy to just PR and move on.

I’m really happy with the change in deadlift form. It doesn’t feel as strange to me any more (i.e. not as much “leg pressing” going on — but more on that shortly). I am really liking how that “step 3” where I push the chest out really gets my whole body tight and pre-loaded for the pull. I don’t think I’d be pulling as much — or as safely — if I didn’t have this. It really makes things solid.

That said, I did find as the weights went up today that I would think and cue myself hard with “pushing the floor away from myself”. While I may not move as much leg, there’s still a drive there, there’s still a push there.

That was especially helpful because yes, the 430# was pushing. 🙂 I’m happy with that rep PR. It’s a good PR in and of itself, and it’s solid and continual progress. Yes progress is slowing, but the graphed trend line continues upwards.

I opted to drop hypers and just superset the leg curls and crunches to get out of the gym. I felt good with the work done, so just a little polish and off I went.

As I think ahead to the next programming routine, I found something interesting. The spreadsheet I use to keep track of everything? A few of the sheets are based around some spreadsheets I found ages ago. One sheet has a nice matrix for figuring out the 5/3/1 sessions. I’ve used this for all my 5/3/1 work since I started. Well, with what I’m about to go into, instead of taking 90% of the 1RM for a training max, I am to take 85%. So I went to modify the spreadsheet to facilitate that calculation and I noticed — it was calculating 1RM differently. It was different than how RepCount does it; it’s even different from the 1RM esimator formula that Wendler himself gives. I forget the names, but there are a few diffent formulas for 1RM calculation. Here’s the thing. The one used by the spreadsheet? It calculated low. In general, that’s actually fine. One of Wendler’s principles is to “start too light” and this certainly worked out that way. However, with all the approaches in “Forever 5/3/1”, I think it’s more important to have things calculated closer to the way Wendler is drawing up numbers and percentages. Especially since it’s not a long road, but now with Wendler’s notions of “leader and anchor” templates and how it may just be 3-ish cycles before you’d recalc for another program well, I think it’s more important to have “more correct” calculations — whereas if it was just picking a template and going until you had to reset, then continuing to go again, being “too light” really wouldn’t matter so much.

I could be wrong, but I changed the formulas and I’ll see how it goes. Besides, in the future nothing stops me from using 85% and being “too light” to start with anyways.

  • Deadlift
    • 185 x 5
    • 225 x 5
    • 270 x 3
    • 340 x 5
    • 385 x 3
    • 430 x 4 (4 rep PR)
    • 385 x 4
    • 340 x 4
  • Leg Curls
    • 55 x 12
    • 55 x 12
    • 55 x 12
  • Crunches (superset with the curls)
    • 25 x 15
    • 25 x 15
    • 25 x 12

2017-06-20 training log

Pretty good day.

I find it interesting how a few weeks ago when I opted to switch to incline pressing, I hit 225 as a 1RM. But today? 195 for 10 (calculated 1RM of 260). I can’t recall why I set it so low. Was it the arm pain flaring up? For sure it’s not as bad a problem now, and I am hoping that after the coming program change it’ll be better. I really want to get back to flat bench pressing, but for the next program it’s going to stay with inclines.

That said, a nice rep PR today. All in all things are ok.

I am doing a lot of thought towards the next program for aforementioned reasons. One thing was starting to lay out the spreadsheet to track my progress, filling in the numbers to use. Good grief, this is going to suck. 🙂 But it will be good for me.

  • Incline Bench Press
    • bar x whatever
    • 80 x 5
    • 105 x 5
    • 125 x 3
    • 155 x 5
    • 175 x 3
    • 195 x 10 (10 rep PR)
    • 175 x 9
    • 155 x 9
  • Flies
    • 25e x 12
    • 25e x 12
    • 25e x 12
  • Cable Rows
    • 115 x 12
    • 125 x 12
    • 135 x 12
    • 135 x 12
    • 135 x 12
  • DB Upright Row
    • 45e x 12
    • 45e x 9
    • 45e x 8
  • Seated French Press
    • 60 x 15
    • 60 x 15
    • 60 x 15
    • 60 x 13
  • EZ Bar Curl
    • 35 x 100

2017-06-19 training log

Well, whether it’s a PR or not, I reckon there’s progress in here.

I’m feeling better about my descent, keeping tight, keeping the groove, reversing out of the hole, all of that. I also felt more confident regarding depth and just dealing with this weight. I wasn’t sure about going for 3, but doing 2 better than I did last cycle? I’ll take it.

That all said, I’m thinking about how the next some cycles will be. I’m actually thinking about derailing for a bit and doing something I need — which isn’t something I want. I’ve put on more bodyweight than desired, and I need to get it back under control. I’m thinking that I finish this cycle, take a deload week off, then starting the “prep program” out of the new Wendler “5/3/1 Forever” book. I’ll take the numbers from this week, calculate out a theoretical 1RM then use 85% of that as a training max. Then into the program for 6 weeks. In conjunction, stripping a lot of carbs out of my diet, to get into caloric deficit. The goal? In the 6 weeks of the program to drop 10 pounds of bodyweight. It’s certainly do-able. What will I do after that? TBD. If I’m feeling good? I might go another 6 weeks. If I’m not, or am itching to get back to “normal” lifting, then I’ll do 3 weeks “anchor” (maybe like 5/3/1 FSL Jokers) to get back into that swing. Then 7th week to rep max test to ensure my training max is proper, then back into normal cycling.

Basically, it’s driven by my bodyweight. But I’m also at a point of “almost time to reset”; not quite — I debate if maybe I want to go 1 more cycle, especially since I’m so close to setting flat out new PR’s on squat and press. But my bodyweight isn’t where I want it to be, and I’d rather derail before it gets any worse.

We’ll see. I have time to think this through, but that’s where my mental process is going.

  • Squats
    • bar x whatever
    • 145 x 5
    • 180 x 5
    • 215 x 3
    • 270 x 5
    • 305 x 3
    • 340 x 2
  • Pause Squat
    • 270 x 3
    • 270 x 3
    • 270 x 3
  • Bodyweight Squats (superset with crunches)
    • BW x 15
    • BW x 15
    • BW x 15
    • BW x 15
  • Crunches
    • BW x 20
    • BW x 20
    • BW x 12

Sunday Metal – Anthrax

This is Anthrax’s 2016 Bloodstock performance.

I’ve seen Anthrax numerous times over the years, and seeing them back in Oct. 2016 I think they were the tightest and best sounding I’ve ever heard from them.

 

2017-06-16 training log

Today went pretty well, all things considered. Not a +10% day, but a solid 80% day.

Pressing is progressing well. I was hoping for 6, but I knew that’d be a stretch — like it’d have to be a +10% day and everything dialed in just right. Still 5 is quite acceptable for my progression.

Everything else is just what it is.

One thing I got to thinking about during the session was my bench pressing and my arm pain. I am thinking that maybe… maybe next cycle, starting to use flat bench (again) as an assistance exercise. So incline press with the 5/3/1 progression, but then do 3-5 sets of 5-10 reps (25-30 reps total) of flat bench (instead of flies). It doesn’t even have to be all that heavy, just something to poke at it to see where my arm pain is in regards to bench pressing. If it goes well, I may keep at it as lighter, supplemental work for a while, then eventually back to making it a main movement. Just all depends how much pain there is.

  • Press
    • bar x whatever
    • 80 x 5
    • 100 x 5
    • 115 x 3
    • 135 x 3
    • 155 x 3
    • 175 x 5 (5 rep PR)
    • 155 x 7
    • 135 x 10
  • Lat Pulldowns (pronated grip, to chest)
    • 110 x 12
    • 120 x 12
    • 130 x 12
    • 130 x 12
    • 130 x 8
  • Front Plate Raises (all the way above head)
    • 25 x 31
    • 25 x 19
    • 25 x 12
  • Skullcrushers
    • 80 x 10
    • 80 x 10
    • 80 x 10
    • 80 x 10
  • Hammer Curl
    • 45e x 10
    • 45e x 10
    • 45e x 8
    • 45e x 7

2017-06-15 training log

Good day. Good rep PR.

I continue to enjoy the refined deadlift technique. Still feels weird to me, still working on really dialing it in, but so far so good. Going in to today, 3 reps are prescribed, but from my records I knew I needed at least 5 to stay on track; 6 or more would be awesome.

The work-up felt a little heavy, but the first rep @ 405 felt light and went up well, so that set a good stage. Rep 5 was fine, starting to fatigue, but I knew 6 would go. I did 6, which was a little work but not a grinder. Held it at the top for a bit, then down. Happy with that.

Everything else is, whatever.

  • Deadlift
    • 185 x 5
    • 225 x 5
    • 270 x 3
    • 315 x 3
    • 360 x 3
    • 405 x 6 (6 rep PR)
    • 360 x 5
    • 315 x 6
  • Hyperextensions
    • BW x 12
    • BW x 12
    • BW x 12
    • BW x 12
  • Leg Curls
    • 55 x 12
    • 55 x 12
    • 55 x 9
  • Crunches
    • 25 x 15
    • 25 x 15
    • 25 x 10

2017-06-13 training log

Good day, but ran out of gas.

Really that’s all there is to say. The day went generally well, but I was just out of gas. Hooray carbs. 😉

One bit of note is the arm pain. While it’s nowhere near as bad as it was with flat bench pressing, there is still some irritation while pressing. Today I noticed it after the high-rep sets, and often that’s when it flares up the worst. It makes me wonder about exploring something like a 10×3 (10 sets, 3 reps each) approach. Just whatever’s needed so I can keep making progress and work through the issues.

Flies. It’s not about the weight, but about getting as far and deep a stretch as possible, then starting out of the hole purely by pec contraction — no momentum, no bounce, no bending the elbows, nothing to gain mechanical advantage. The stretch is important for me, because I need that stretch, I need that work to improve my range of motion and shoulder health.

Decided to do 100 rep curls again, because last week was so much fun. 🙂 Hopefully I don’t get the wicked soreness this time around.

  • Incline Bench Press
    • bar x whatever
    • 80 x 5
    • 105 x 5
    • 125 x 3
    • 145 x 3
    • 165 x 3
    • 185 x 12 (12 rep PR)
    • 165 x 10
    • 145 x 10
  • Flies
    • 25e x 10
    • 25e x 10
    • 25e x 10
  • Cable Rows
    • 115 x 12
    • 125 x 12
    • 135 x 12
    • 135 x 12
    • 135 x 12
  • DB Upright Row
    • 45e x 12
    • 45e x 11
    • 45e x 7
  • Seated French Press
    • 60 x 15
    • 60 x 15
    • 60 x 15
    • 60 x 12
  • Reverse EZ Bar Curl
    • 35 x 100

2017-06-12 training log

Mixed feelings about today.

I’m repeating this cycle to work on depth. But I’m failing at the mental game. I need to remind myself of the worst: that I have to dump the bar. Big deal. Yet, it still messes with my head. Sigh.

What’s interesting tho is I’m improving my hip flexibility, so the feeling of “in the hole” and “have hit depth” is changing. So what feels like I’ve just hit depth now is much deeper in the hole. So having to deal with my issue plus a new sensation of where depth is is just messing with me. Ugh.

I felt like I hit depth, but also didn’t. I need to bring a second iDevice with me so I can record every set.

Anyways.

Tried out the new STrong knee sleeves. The Slingshot sleeves are a “squishy” neoprene, but these are a denser material, same as the elbow sleeves. Could you get some pounds out of these? I guess so, if you got tight-enough ones. I just got the “comfort fit” and I doubt I got anything. 🙂 But they are a little denser, a little stiffer, a little more prone to want to be straight than bent. I also found the fabric is a bit more abrasive against the skin, so whereas the other sleeves I’d be happy to wear throughout the session, I don’t really want to wear these longer than I have to. It’s not horrible, but against my skin it’s certainly not as comfortable. I did like how they were longer and had more coverage.

Oh, and on the squats, funny thing. I’m so used to pyriamiding down that that’s what I did. I hit the top set then set up weights for the prior set instead of first-set for pauses. I said screw it and given my performance on the top set opted to pyramid down for AMRAP, then 1 set of pauses. I dug that. Who knows, maybe I’ll do that next cycle.

Anyways, today was what it was.

  • Squats
    • bar x whatever
    • 145 x 5
    • 180 x 5
    • 215 x 3
    • 250 x 3
    • 290 x 3
    • 325 x 4
    • 290 x 5
    • 250 x 8
  • Pause Squat
    • 250 x 4
  • Bodyweight squat (superset with crunches)
    • BW x 15
    • BW x 15
    • BW x 15
    • BW x 15
  • Crunches
    • BW x 20
    • BW x 17
    • BW x 14

Sunday Metal – Obituary

One more Obituary. This is their 2015 performance at Hellfest.

 

Summertime Safety Prep

Here in Texas, it’s officially summer.

It’s hot.

It’s sunny.

If you’re going to do some training or practice in self-defense, there’s a couple things of utmost importance for preserving your life and well-being:

  1. Sunscreen
  2. Hydration

Sunscreen

It doesn’t matter what you’re doing, if it’s taking a day-long class at an outdoor gun range or just spending the day outside enjoying the sun.

Wear sunscreen. This can be a spray/lotion/cream product, or just wearing covering (but cool) clothing, brimmed hats, etc. Protect your skin.

I’d like to think most people understand the need for sunscreen (if you don’t, Google is your friend). But I see it time and time again in classes, where people don’t somehow protect themselves from the sun and by mid-day are turning red, and are nice and burned by the end of the day. If you’ve got a 2-day class, day 2 is going to be miserable.

At KR Training we’ve got sunscreen in the bathroom. Use it, please!

I used to wear my short-sleeve shirt and shorts, which is my normal summertime choice. But all day out on the range, with no shade? It just got to be too much for me, even with sunscreen.

Now I keep myself fairly covered. I wear long pants (and recently picked up a pair of Vertx Phantom Ops AirFlow upon recommendation from Caleb Causey; we’ll see how they go). I used to wear an Under Armour long-sleeve shirt underneath my KR Training shirt, but that got too hot. Now I just wear the KRT shirt with a set of Under Armour “sleeves”; I used to think these looked silly, and I still do, but they are a godsend. They keep me covered, and actually help with cooling. The only exposed skin I have are my hands, face, and neck, and I do put a high-SPF, waterproof (sweat) sunscreen on them. My days on the range are much happier this way. Yes I’m covered, but it’s with cool(ing) cover.

Hydration

As Caleb Causey is famous for saying: Drink water!

But really, it’s more than that.

Eat well. Make sure your body is well-nourished. This nourishment should be every day, but sometimes life gets to us. If you know you’re going to be having a day or two of heavy physical activity out in the heat, make the effort to get your body well-nourished starting a couple days before. Like if it’s a weekend class? Start at least come Thursday morning, all day Thursday, all day Friday – and then all day through the classes. Keep your body well-fed.

If you don’t have a specific medical condition that prevents you, you should also not be afraid of taking in some extra salt, both before and during the activity. You will lose a lot of electrolytes through sweat. One thing I like to do? That “Lite Salt”? It’s actually a mix of sodium and potassium. I put about 1/4 tsp. into drinks; not enough that I truly notice a salty flavor, but enough that I get a little extra electrolyte in me — and it’s cheaper than sports drinks.

Drink more than you need. If you’re used to just taking a few gulps? Take a few more. Drink 8 oz? Drink 16. Just drink more, because you are generally fighting a losing battle.

Pay attention to your pee. It should be pretty close to clear (tho truly clear can actually be over-hydration and be diluting electrolytes). A faint yellow or straw color is good. If it’s darker yellow, if it’s brown, drink (more) water. If you’re seeing other colors, you may need medical attention (seriously).

Take care of yourself

You’re coming to the gun range to learn how to protect and preserve your life.

Preserving your life starts with your health.

Protect yourself from the sun. Protect yourself from dehydration. Protect yourself from heat exhaustion and other heat-related injuries. They are common and pretty easily preventable.

You’ll have a much more enjoyable and productive day on the range if you do.